Lighter Side: Why you shouldn’t ask for career advice on the internet

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Millions of people turn to the internet for advice every day but one man will be wishing he’d kept schtum after bosses spotted his job-related post online – and promptly retracted their offer.

The “anonymous” engineer asked users on question-and-answer site Quora whether he should accept an offer at Uber or Zenefits – the hapless applicant also posted a list of pros and cons for the two San Francisco-based start-ups.

Thanks to the list, it became apparent that the engineer was leaning towards Ubur, because he thought it had a “really good reputation” and could help him achieve his long-term goal of working at Google or Apple. He also expressed concern that Zenefits just wasn’t an exciting buzzword or brand.

However, Uber wasn’t offering the best salary package – some US$15,000 less than Zenefits.

Unfortunately, the engineer has his choice taken awayw when Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad spotted the post and decided to respond – “Definitely not Zenefits,” he replied, adding that the company was revoking the job offer.

“Mostly, it seems like where you really want to work is Google,” he wrote. “You should just apply there. If you’re able to pass our engineering interview, I’m pretty sure you could get a job there.”

“We really value people who “get” what we do and who *want* to work here, specifically. It’s not for everyone, but there are enough ppl out there who do want to work here that we can afford to be selective,” he continued.

“One of our company values is to have a bias towards action — which means that when people are hesitating / going back and forth about whether they want to work here, we usually view that as a bad sign,” explained Conrad.

“We don’t have terribly high regard for ppl who would choose where to work based on “buzzwords” and how big a brand it is (or simply to position themselves for later in their career),” he added.

Conrad’s move earned a mixed response from fellow Quora users – one mobile app developer called the reply a “tantrum” and told the young engineer; “The CEO revoking your offer after this perfectly reasonable question makes it sound like a bad place to work. … Lack of humility is a bad signal.”

However, another person agreed with the Zenefits CEO and likened the situation to a high school kid desperately trying to break into the popular crowd. “No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t appreciate the company or its people and is thinking about leaving before he even joins,” they said.

What do you think? Was Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad right to pull the job offer? Share your thoughts below.

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